Bourbon BBQ Turkey Burgers

Hearty, flavorful and succulent, these burgers are worthy of the center plate, and pair perfectly with allergen-free coleslaw and our sweet potato fries.

Makes: 6 servings
Free of: gluten and all top allergens


Turkey Burgers

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 large red onion, halved vertically and cut into thin vertical slices (3 cups)
  • 2 tbsp bourbon
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 lbs (680 g) ground turkey
  • 6 allergen-free hamburger buns
  • 6 slices firm, ripe tomato
  • 6 lettuce leaves

Bourbon BBQ Sauce

  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) ketchup
  • 2 tbsp bourbon
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp bacon fat, canola oil or olive oil
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp barbecue seasoning (look for allergen-safe brand)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Recipe Tips

Most experts agree that bourbon is gluten-free due to the distillation process.


  1. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat 5-7 minutes, until browned and crisp. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels. Pour off bacon fat, but don’t discard.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add 2 tablespoons bacon fat back to pan. Add onion and cook 20 minutes stirring occasionally, until soft and browned.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk all BBQ Sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, loosely cover and simmer 10 minutes, until thickened.
  4. Once onions are cooked, add bourbon, vinegar and salt. Saute 2 minutes while scraping up browned bits on the pan’s bottom to deglaze, until most of liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes.
  5. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  6. Place turkey in medium bowl. Roughly chop 1/2 cup of cooked onions, and stir into turkey meat. Divide meat into 6 equal portions and form into 1/2-inch thick patties.
  7. Liberally apply cooking spray to grill. Place patties on grill, close lid and cook 4 minutes. Flip patties and add buns to grill, face down. Close lid and cook 4 minutes, checking buns halfway through.
  8. To assemble, spread 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce on bottom half of a bun. Top with a cooked patty, tomato slice, lettuce leaf, sauteed onions and 1 piece bacon broken in half. Finish with top half of bun and repeat for remaining burgers. Serve with extra BBQ sauce on the side.

is the author of three cookbooks, including the new Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking and The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook. Visit her at